FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 19, 2008
Brian Long, director
NCDA&CS Public Affairs
(919) 733-4216, ext. 242
Troxler reminds livestock producers
that Emergency Hay Program will end April 1
RALEIGH – Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler reminds livestock producers that the state’s Emergency Hay Program will end April 1.
Since late December, the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has been selling hay at six locations across the state to help owners of cattle, horses, sheep and goats meet their animals’ winter feeding needs. The department announced last month that the program would begin scaling back, with a goal of ending on April 1.
“With the recent rains across the state and warmer weather on its way, we are optimistic that this program won’t be necessary anymore,” Troxler said. “However, if something like a late snowstorm happens that causes a spike in hay demand, we will act quickly to help.”
Hay is being sold on Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the following NCDA&CS locations: Mountain Research Station, Waynesville, (828) 456-3943; Upper Mountain Research Station, Laurel Springs, (336) 982-2501; Piedmont Research Station, Salisbury, (704) 278-2624; Piedmont Triad Farmers Market, Colfax, (336) 605-9157; Caswell Research Farm, Kinston, (252) 208-3361; and Oxford Tobacco Research Station, Oxford, (919) 693-2483.
Livestock owners may purchase up to eight large bales and 60 small bales per day. Limits are subject to change depending on supply and demand.
In December, the Council of State unanimously authorized the department to use up to $3.5 million to purchase and transport hay to North Carolina, where it could be resold to farmers for the cost of the hay and transportation.
As of mid-March, the Emergency Hay Program had spent about $478,000 and brought more than 2,400 tons of hay into North Carolina from several states and Canada.
Troxler said the conclusion of the Emergency Hay Program will not affect the department’s Ag and Equine Partners Program, which provides transportation cost-share assistance to N.C. livestock producers who purchase hay from outside the state. For information, contact the NCDA&CS Hay Alert hotline toll free at (866) 506-6222 or log on to www.ncagr.com/hayalert.